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United States of America v. Luis Rodriguez

May 19, 2011

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
LUIS RODRIGUEZ



The opinion of the court was delivered by: DuBOIS, J.

MEMORANDUM

I. INTRODUCTION

On April 27, 2011, a grand jury returned a thirteen-count indictment against defendant Luis Rodriguez and four co-defendants. The indictment charges the defendant in five of the thirteen counts as follows:

* Count I: Conspiring to knowingly and intentionally distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, a Schedule II controlled substance, and marijuana, a Schedule I controlled substance, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(A), and (b)(1)(C);

* Counts II and III: Knowingly and intentionally possessing with intent to distribute, and aiding and abetting the possession with intent to distribute, five kilograms or more of cocaine within 1,000 feet of a school, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(A), 860(a), and 18 U.S.C. § 2;

* Count X: Knowingly and intentionally possessing with intent to distribute marijuana, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(C); and

* Count XI: Conspiring to knowingly and intentionally maintain, and aiding and abetting the maintaining of, a building, located at 3075 Jasper Street in Philadelphia, for the purpose of unlawfully storing, manufacturing, and distributing cocaine, cocaine base, and marijuana, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 856(a)(1) and 18 U.S.C. § 2.

Defendant is not named in the other eight counts of the indictment.

On April 4, 2011, after hearing evidence and arguments from counsel for both the government and the defendant, Magistrate Judge M. Faith Angell ordered the defendant detained pending defense counsel's preparation of a package of proposed conditions for pretrial release. On April 27, 2011, at a hearing before Magistrate Judge Jacob P. Hart, defense counsel presented to the Court defendant's package of proposed conditions. After hearing argument from counsel for both the government and the defendant, Magistrate Judge Hart ordered the defendant detained.

Presently before the Court is defendant's Appeal and Motion to Revoke Magistrate's Order for Detention Pending Trial. The Court conducted a hearing on defendant's appeal and motion on May 17, 2011. At that hearing, the transcripts of the April 4 and 27, 2011 hearings before Magistrate Judges Angell and Hart, and the Bail Report prepared by the United States Pretrial Services Office, were admitted into evidence, and additional evidence was received. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Court denied defendant's Appeal and Motion to Revoke Magistrate's Order for Detention Pending Trial. This Memorandum amplifies the bases for the Court's denial of defendant's appeal and motion.

II. LEGAL STANDARD

This Court has jurisdiction to review the magistrate judge's decision under 18 U.S.C. § 3145(b). That section requires the Court to make a de novo determination of the magistrate judge's detention order. United States v. Delker, 757 F.2d 1390, 1394 (3d Cir. 1985). However, the reasons articulated by the magistrate judge must be given "respectful consideration." United States v. Suppa, 799 F.2d 115, 120 (3d Cir. 1986). The transcript of the hearing before the magistrate judge may also be admitted into evidence in the hearing before the district court. See States v. Delker, 757 F.2d 1390, 1394-95, 1395 n.3 (3d Cir. 1985).

III. FINDINGS OF FACT

Having reviewed the submissions of the parties and the transcripts of the hearings before Magistrate Judges Angell and Hart, and after conducting an evidentiary hearing on May 17, 2011, ...


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